Definition of Formalism

1. Noun. The doctrine that formal structure rather than content is what should be represented.

Generic synonyms: Doctrine, Ism, Philosophical System, Philosophy, School Of Thought
Derivative terms: Formalistic
Antonyms: Imitation

2. Noun. (philosophy) the philosophical theory that formal (logical or mathematical) statements have no meaning but that its symbols (regarded as physical entities) exhibit a form that has useful applications.
Category relationships: Philosophy
Generic synonyms: Philosophical Doctrine, Philosophical Theory
Derivative terms: Formalistic

3. Noun. The practice of scrupulous adherence to prescribed or external forms.
Generic synonyms: Pattern, Practice
Derivative terms: Formalistic

Definition of Formalism

1. n. The practice or the doctrine of strict adherence to, or dependence on, external forms, esp. in matters of religion.

Definition of Formalism

1. Noun. Strict adherence to a given form of conduct, practice etc. ¹

2. Noun. (computing) One of several alternative computational paradigms for a given theory. ¹

3. Noun. (literature) An approach to interpretation and/or evaluation focused on the (usually linguistic) structure of a literary work rather than on the contexts of its origin or reception. ¹

4. Noun. (music) The tendency to elevate formal above expressive value in music, as in serialism. ¹

5. Noun. (mathematics physics) A particular mathematical or scientific theory or description of a given state or effect. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Formalism

1. [n -S]

Formalism Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Formalism

formaldehyde ferredoxin oxidoreductase
formaldehyde fixative
formaldehyde reductase
formaldehyde transketolase
formalin pigment
formalism (current term)

Literary usage of Formalism

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Infidelity: Its Aspects, Causes and Agencies by Thomas Pearson (1855)
"CHAPTER VI. THE DENIAL OF THE POWER OF GODLINESS; OR, formalism. Not Infidelity in theory, but in practice—Nature of formalism—Prev ..."

2. French and English: A Comparison by Philip Gilbert Hamerton (1889)
"Decorous obedience formalism to all outward religious observances is very frequently com- Anglican bined in England with an entire absence of pretension to ..."

3. A Textbook in the History of Modern Elementary Education: With Emphasis on by Samuel Chester Parker (1912)
"... formalism in England. — One of the best accounts of ... formalism can be discussed to advantage under two main heads : (1) degenerate object teaching, ..."

4. A Text-book in the History of Education by Paul Monroe (1905)
"formalism in its Results. — Instead of this we find education dominated by a formalism growing out of the dominant theological groups, the Lutheran, ..."

5. The American and English Encyclopedia of Law by John Houston Merrill, Charles Frederic Williams, Thomas Johnson Michie, David Shephard Garland (1892)
"It is to be noticed, then- fore, that, what formal requisites « now essential in conveyancing. ire: a remnant of ancient formalism, hl mere provisions for ..."

6. Primitive and Ancient Legal Institutions by Albert Kocourek, John Henry Wigmore (1915)
"The extent to which legal formalism is still a part of the stage of intellectual development of law needs no mention. Nevertheless, the transition time is ..."

7. A History of French Private Law by Jean Brissaud (1912)
"Consequences of formalism. 1370. Formation of Contracts by Means of Writings. § 362. ... As to formalism in the old Germanic law, cf. ..."

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